It's so funny. I couldn't remember how far along I was with The Bun before I gave birth. Thanks to this little blog, I see that I was in my 38th week. This time around, I was wondering if I would be going past 40! The Bean appeared to be very comfortable, resting high in my uterus and I wasn't having any contractions, Braxton-Hicks or real.
Funny how things just fall into place or happen for a reason. The Man had been working crazy hours, doing double shifts and it looked like it wouldn't stop until I gave birth. On Monday, July 21st, he had worked a full day and planned to go back around 10 PM, the usual as of late. Instead of resting, though, he accompanied me to pick up The Bun at preschool. Ordinarily he wouldn't do that but I was doing my friend a favor and meeting one of her customers at a local coffee shop to give him some product samples on her behalf. (She lives in Hawaii so, clearly, couldn't do it herself.) I felt safe enough since we were meeting in a public place but The Man didn't like the idea that his whole family - wife, daughter and son-in-utero - were going to meet a stranger so he came along.
We picked up The Bun from school and then went to one of our favorite local coffee shops to wait for the guy. We ended up eating dinner because the guy was stuck in traffic. Once he got there, I gave him the sample and we quickly headed home. The Bun's bedtime is supposed to be at 7:30 PM but it takes us a while to get her ready for bed.
We parked our van in our reserved spot and started to walk to our home. Just steps away from the van, I felt a warm sensation and wondered briefly if I just lost control of my bladder. I looked down and didn't see anything running down from my shorts or running down my legs but the sensation continued. I felt my bottom and it was wet. Ohh, that's right.
"Hon," I said and The Man turned. "Hon, I think my water broke."
"Are you serious?" He later told me he asked that because he didn't see anything running down my legs so I must have been joking.
"Yup. I'm pretty sure my water just broke."
We both paused and looked at each other. I had not experienced my bag of waters naturally breaking so this was new to both of us. I can't remember word for word what he said but essentially it was something like, "OK, let's go."
Honestly, I didn't read any books this time around. I did have two pregnancy apps, one free and one purchased, that sent me reminders and notifications of what to expect. But that had been the extent of my preparation and research. Luckily, I did remember that if I wasn't experiencing contractions, it was a good indicator that I had time to do things like take a shower.
While The Bun and I showered, The Man made calls to his work. He had to cancel the work that was scheduled for tonight as well as talk to his boss and the man who would take over while The Man goes out on paternity leave. The Bun figured out that something was going on and I did my best to explain to her that the baby was coming so mama and daddy had to go to the hospital. She didn't quite understand why she couldn't join us (insert super cute sad face) but she could tell that it wasn't the time to negotiate.
We drove to my parents house so we could drop off The Bun with my dad and pick up my mom who wanted to be there for the birth. (My dad emphatically said he would rather take care of his granddaughter. I'm guessing the waiting and the blood made going to the hospital unappealing to him.) By this time, my contractions were significant enough for me to start timing them. They were roughly six minutes apart.
Our new hospital had just opened in June. Oh, the luck! This one had all the great new nurses from the old hospital but all the perks of an updated facility - all private rooms, free wi-fi, yadda yadda. The Man, being the man, wanted to do a dry run last weekend so we were familiar on where to park, what floor to be on and where to check in. Unfortunately, they weren't giving tours yet so we knew what to do ... up until checking in to Labor & Delivery.
It was quiet anti-climatic. I thought that they would be in more of a hurry since my water broke and I was having contractions. Nope. The OB-GYN was performing a cesarean section and the mid-wife was working with a patient in critical condition. The nurse said I was going to have to labor on my own for a little bit since I was still in the beginning stages.
I was first put in an admitting room that wasn't bad at all. It was small but big enough to fit a bed and seats for my mom & The Man. There was a good sized flat screen TV ... but they made you watch 3-4 hospital videos about the new facility and care before you could watch TV. It's not terrible but isn't distracting enough when one is weathering contractions.
After the midwife delivered a baby, she was able to check on me. Specifically, check the fluid from my pad in my panties (I know, TMI but part of the story so and isn't this whole entry TMI?) to make sure it was my water breaking and not something else. Of course it was so I was admitted.
I was then moved to this HUGE room, twice maybe even triple the size of the holding room, complete with a warming station for the baby, special lights in the ceiling I just knew were pretty much spotlights aimed right for my lady parts when it was time, and a good sized bathroom. I later realized that it's also big enough to walk around so one doesn't have to walk and labor in the halls.
Evidently at Kaiser, if you're having a standard birth, you are assigned a midwife. If you're pregnancy is considered high risk, you get a doctor. This time, I had a mid-wife. I'd normally be totally fine with that EXCEPT I suspect that this specific midwife didn't like pain relief medication. Because when I told her I wanted an epidural (remember, I had started to have stronger contractions in the holding room), she told me that she doesn't recommend an epidural until I was at least 5 centimeters dilated because an epidural could delay my labor. At that time, I was only at 2 1/2.
I went on to have about five hours of labor with no epidural. Maybe it's needless to say but I'm going to say it - I was miserable. In the type of person that always goes for the pain relief and not try mind over matter or ride the pain out or any of that other nonsense. Yup, I wrote nonsense.
Eventually, there was a shift change and the new midwife introduced herself. I remember her frowning when she saw I was in pain. She asked me if I wanted an epidural and I told her I was told I had to wait until I was 5 centimeters. She then said that my comfort was a priority so if I wanted an epidural, I should get one. And she went and immediately contacted the anesthesiologist. Unfortunately, I was having strong enough contractions that it was challenging to get the epidural in me. Along with the anesthesiologist, there was a nurse assisting him. She was quite militant and kept sternly telling me they I cannot move when the doctor started because he needed me to be very still. When a contraction would start, she would reprimand me before I did anything that I MUST not move.
Ordinarily, when I'm in a vulnerable state, I tend to default to a meek character. But she was really ticking me off by proactively reprimanding me before I even did anything that I finally snapped, "I'm NOT moving!" She looked butt hurt and said she was only trying to help because it's a delicate procedure. But I didn't care, she had pissed me off.
What a world of difference! Once I got the epidural coursing through my body, it was like night and day. Although I wasn't allowed any food or drink except water, it was heavenly. I could relax, I could even sleep. In fact, when The Man wanted to take a photo of us, I could even calmly reapply my eyeliner beforehand!
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